The first common rules in the fisheries sector date back to 1970, but it wasn't until 1983 that the Community regulation of access to resources, of resource conservation and control, came into being. Total Allowable Catches (TACs), species quotas and mitigation measures such as minimum net sizes were introduced at this time.

It was reformed in 2003, with changes brought in to protect fishing areas in the long term from a biological, environmental and economic perspective, to ensure a sustainable level of fishing. This led to the creation of the Regional Advisory Councils (RACs), which bring together all stakeholders including fishermen, scientists and green organisations, to identify ways of achieving sustainable fisheries in the areas of interest to the RAC concerned.

The Common Fisheries Policy deals with:


  • conservation, management and exploitation of living aquatic resources
  • limitation of the environmental impact of fishing
  • conditions of access to waters and resources
  • structural policy and the management of the fleet capacity
  • control and enforcement
  • aquaculture
  • common organisation of the markets
  • international relations


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